When the Seahawks drafted Justin Britt at the end of the second round, offensive-line coach Tom Cable knew it would likely take some time for the rookie right tackle to get comfortable in a new style of offense.
“He doesn’t really make the same mistake twice, which I’ve been really impressed with,” Seahawks offensive-line coach Tom Cable said of rookie Justin Britt (far left), who is competing to be the team’s starting right tackle. (AP)
So while Michael Bowie is one obstacle standing in Britt’s way of a starting job in 2014, another is the adjustment he’ll have to make having played in a spread system at Missouri.
“I think we’re starting to see the impact of spread football from college to the NFL,” Cable told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” last week. “These guys are behind fundamentally in terms of just knocking people off the ball and they’re all more comfortable playing in a two-point [stance], standing up, than they are being down, putting their hand on the ground and playing from that position.”
That’s not something Britt did much of during his three seasons as a starter in college.
“We put our hand down once or twice,” he joked during the team’s rookie minicamp last month.
According to Cable, offensive linemen who are more accustomed to playing from a two-point stance “get their feet real wide and there’s not much stagger to them and they’re just flat footed and they kind of look around and they stand up.”
When Seattle was evaluating Britt, one thing Cable liked about him was his wrestling background. Britt was 45-0 and a state heavyweight champion as a high-school senior. While that’s not a requisite for Cable, it’s something he likes in offensive linemen because it’s an indication of, in his words, their willingness to “strain” and “suffer”. Cable alluded to that when he was asked how Britt has looked so far.
“He has been making improvements in leaps and bounds every single day. A really bright guy, he doesn’t really make the same mistake twice, which I’ve been really impressed with,” Cable said. “As you know for rookies, sometimes there are some roadblocks and he seems to knock them down rather quickly. And he likes to grind, which I think it was good to transition back into hard-ball football, getting him out of the spread.”
As for the competition with Bowie, Cable said that could be the best positional battle he’s seen since joining Seattle’s coaching staff in 2011.
“Mike, he’s got to take care of business in terms of his weight and conditioning and those kinds of things and this kid (Britt) is so hungry and wants to get after it that he won’t give him an inch,” Cable said. “Fortunately for our team, Mike’s recognized that rather quickly and it’s on. It’ll be settled in the preseason.”
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